The Federal Communications Commission made a major announcement today by permitting the opening of a plot of spectrum in the 6GHz band for unlicensed use. This will allow your router to broadcast over the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. How does it matter, you’d ask?
Well, it means that far more open airwaves are available now and routers can use them to broadcast WI-FI signals. This way, you can get a lot faster and reliable connections from the devices in the next generation. The spectrum will be officially open by the end of the year.
It may not seem like it now, but it’s actually quite a big deal. It’s the biggest spectrum addition since the FCC cleared the way for Wi-Fi 1989. The new spectrum will provide increased bandwidth and lesser interferences making the Wi-Fi experience much smoother.
Kevin Robinson is the marketing leader for the Wi-Fi Alliance, which is an industry-backed group that oversees the implementation of Wi-Fi. He said that “This is the most monumental decision around Wi-Fi spectrum in its history, in the 20 years we’ve been around.”
Now you might have many queries regarding the upcoming Wi-Fi 6E, but here’s what we know so far:
Many people regularly struggle to connect their devices to the Wi-Fi network due to the spectrum congestion. This usually occurs when too many devices are trying to connect to the same band of frequencies. Due to this reason, some devices get dropped. Hence, if there are too many nearby Wi-Fi networks in an area, the connection becomes less reliable and slow. In this regard, 6GHz Wi-Fi can be of tremendous help. It offers solutions as it comes with a swatch of airwaves for the routers to use.
Now you must be wondering if the speed of your internet would increase with this advancement. Technically, 6GHz Wi-Fi 6 would have the same speed as 5GHz Wi-Fi (9.6 Gbps), so the speed won’t exactly change. However, the new airwaves would bump your speed up the new spectrum is more spacious. Therefore, the routers of 6GHz Wi-Fi6 will broadcast the maximum size of the channel, and that means a relatively faster connection.
According to Robinson, the 6GHz Wi-Fi 6 devices will be available in stores towards the end of the year. However, you shouldn’t get your hopes up entirely as the actual deployment will start by 2021. The extension is expected because that is when the Wi-Fi Alliances will start offering the certification program for the Wi-Fi 6E devices.
Broadcom, Qualcomm, Intel have already given the green flag to this discovery. Major router companies like Linksys and Netgear have also given their approval.
Smartphone users are likely going to be the first users of the Wi-Fi 6E, after which Tablets are expected to follow.
“Wi-Fi’s a very important part of the phone, so higher-end phones have higher quality Wi-Fi chips in them. Smartphones are a key product that makes sense for 6E because people use their phones for pretty much everything.” - Phil Solis, a wireless analyst with IDC said to The Verge.